Women's Volleyball Falls In Classic
Dec. 1, 2000
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara's Kathy Gregory called it the greatest match she hadever been involved with in her coaching career. That's sayingsomething: This is her 26th year as head coach of the Gauchos.
UCSB overcame a career-high 39-kill performance by StanfordAll-American and United States Olympian Logan Tom, to pull-out athrilling five-game, three-hour match in the second round of the NCAAWomen's Volleyball Tournament Friday night in Santa Barbara , 9-15,16-14, 15-8, 14-16, 16-14.
With the win, the Gauchos advance to the NCAA Regionals in Honolulu,Hawaii. It will be UCSB's fourth consecutive trip to the Sweet 16, butit was a tough road to travel.
Stanford jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first game and never lookedback, winning 15-9. The Gauchos hit .063 in the first game, collectingonly eight kills. The Cardinal hit .200, but it was enough for the win.
In game two, it was UCSB's turn to get off the mark quickly and whenoutside hitter Brie Lampe and middle blocker Danielle Bauer shared ablock, they led 8-2. Ultimately, Stanford cut the Gaucho lead to 11-10on a tip by Michelle Chambers. UCSB responded with kills from Bauerand middle blocker Simone Kuhn to make it 13-10, but Stanford clawedits way back and when Logan Tom served-up an ace, they were within onepoint of victory at 14-13. After a timeout, UCSB scored three in arow, the game-winner coming on another kill by Lampe.
The Gauchos easily won game three, 15-8, but game four lasted30-minutes and this time it was Stanford's turn to come back from thebrink. The Cardinal built a sizable lead at 7-2, but UCSB rallied andled 14-13 serving for the match. Tom slammed a kill to give her teamsideout and then she produced a block to tie the score and back-to-backkills to give the Cardinal the game-four victory.
Game five was a classic. UCSB got on the board first on a kill byGuerra. Tom responded to tie the score at 1-1. Lampe gave the Gauchosa 2-1 lead with a solo block, but Tom again tied the score with a softtip shot. UCSB outside hitter Brooke Niles made it 3-2 with a kill,but a service error by Kuhn knotted the score again, 3-3. Lampe andTom traded another block and a kill respectively and the score was 4-4.A block by Bauer and setter Brooke Rundle, followed by a Guerra killgave the Gauchos their first two-point lead of game five. An error byStanford's Sara Sandrik and a block by Bauer and Guerra extended thelead to 8-4, at which points the teams switched sides.
The brief respite seemed to invigorate the Cardinal. A block by TaraConrad and a UCSB ball-handling error narrowed the gap to 8-6. AChambers service error briefly stemmed the tide and made it 9-6Gauchos. Then, it was Tom's turn to take over again. She had a killand a solo block to make it 9-8. Jennifer Detmer then stuffed Bauer toeven it at 9-9. The Gauchos responded with consecutive kills byGuerra, Lampe and Bauer to build a 12-9 advantage.
Again, the Cardinal responded. Detmer hit a cross-court spike to makeit 12-10. A service error by Bauer narrowed the Gaucho lead to 12-11.A kill by Guerra gave UCSB a 13-11 lead, but then Stanford ran offthree in a row to give them match point at 14-13.
It was time for the Gauchos to climb off the mat one last time. Lamperecorded a kill after a long rally, to knot game five at 14-14. Atriple-block by Bauer, Lampe and Niles put UCSB on the brink at 15-14.
Then, in a match that had lengthy rallies, 30 minute games, momentumswings, mood swings and amazing drama, the ending came suddenly andstunningly.
Kuhn went back to serve for the Gauchos. She lofted a serve into themiddle of the opposite court. The Cardinal watched helplessly andmotionless as the ball landed, untouched, ending an unbelievable matchwith a UCSB victory in game five, 16-14.
The Gauchos were led by Lampe who recorded a career-high 25 kills andhit .385. She also added eight blocks. Guerra had 19 kills whileBauer and Kuhn each added 16. Niles gave UCSB five players indouble-figures in kills with 14. The Gauchos produced a fine overalldefensive effort with 98 digs and 20.5 blocks. Rundle had 20 digs togo along with her 72 assists and Bauer had a career-high 12 blocks.One of the team's unsung heroes was defensive specialist CaseyMcFarland who logged a career-high 16 digs.
In addition to her 39 kills, Stanford's Tom had a match-high 23 digsand seven blocks. Conrad was the only other Cardinal player indouble-figures in kills with 25. As a team, they had 21.5 blocks and92 digs. The Cardinal hit .211 as a team and the Gauchos hit .222.
Santa Barbara is now 25-7 on the season. They travel to Honolulu forthe West Regional Semifinals where they will take on the winner of theArizona State-Minnesota match, which will be played tomorrow inMinneapolis.
Stanford completes its season with a 19-12 record.